Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Alert and Ready

Alert and Ready: An Organizational Design Assessment of Marine Corps Intelligence

Christopher Paul
Harry J. Thie
Katharine Watkins Webb
Stephanie Young
Colin P. Clarke
Susan G. Straus
Joya Laha
Christine Osowski
Chad C. Serena
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 226
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Alert and Ready
    Book Description:

    Over the past decade, especially, U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) intelligence has had to tailor its organization to meet the evolving demands of the operational environment. This has resulted in a number of ad hoc arrangements, practices, and organizations. A broad review of the organizational design of USMC intelligence examined how to align it efficiently and effectively with current and future missions and functions.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5265-0
    Subjects: Political Science, Business, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) intelligence is assigned mission responsibility for all USMC intelligence matters, with functions ranging from conducting intelligence collection to conducting analysis in support of operating forces in combat and deployed around the world. It also represents the Marine Corps in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and supports the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) resource allocation processes. Particularly since 2001, the USMC intelligence enterprise has demonstrated agility in tailoring its organization to meet evolving expeditionary force demands. This has resulted in a number of ad hoc arrangements, practices, and organizational structures. USMC operations include distributed operations, irregular warfare,...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Approach
    (pp. 7-16)

    This chapter describes our approach to this study. This undertaking involved five mutually supporting and related strands of research effort:

    a review of the literature on organizational design

    a review of documents for and about USMC intelligence

    semistructured interviews of personnel in USMC intelligence organizations

    analyses of these data

    the development and assessment of organizational alternatives for Marine Corps intelligence.

    In this chapter, we discuss each of these areas in turn.

    To develop a framework to assess the organizational baseline of USMC intelligence and to evaluate alternative courses of action and identify issues of concern, we scoured the existing literature...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Current Organization of Marine Corps Intelligence
    (pp. 17-24)

    This chapter describes the current organization of USMC intelligence. In Appendix B, we have included a discussion of Army intelligence for those who are inclined to ask the obvious comparative question, “How does the Army organize for intelligence?”

    USMC intelligence manpower and units are housed at the headquarters level (called the supporting establishment) and in operational forces consisting of several forces-level commands and their subordinate units. Operational emphasis is placed on the MAGTF, which comprises forces organized by task under a single commander and is structured to accomplish a specific mission. The MAGTF has four core elements: the CE, GCE,...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Literature on Organizational Design and Analytic Framework
    (pp. 25-34)

    The RAND team brought to the project considerable prior experience with organizational design and theory. In our research proposal, we included a model of the relationship between organizational structural components and an organization’s inputs and outputs. This model, outlined in Figure 4.1, is based on work by the National Research Council.¹ It seemed appropriate because, as many authors have pointed out, the success of an organizational structure can depend on a number of factors. Important among them is an organization’s culture. A new structure may perform much as the old one did because the culture impedes changed effectiveness or efficiency....

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Strategic Intent and Organizational Assessment: USMC Intelligence Strategy, Plans, Doctrine
    (pp. 35-48)

    When organizational leaders express a new strategic intent, they need to align the organizational structure with the new direction while accommodating history and resources. Thus, structure becomes an instrument for executing organizational strategic intent. The organizational design of USMC intelligence can be viewed through the lens of changing strategic intent and emerging strategic intent as seen inMCISR-E RoadmapandMarine Corps Operating Concepts.¹ This chapter distills existing strategic guidance into seven objectives and connects them to the organizational design characteristics described in Chapter Four.

    In March 1994, the USMC announced a program to improve its intelligence collection, the Intelligence...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Issue Identification and Analysis of Data
    (pp. 49-80)

    This chapter describes how we identified issues of concern to USMC intelligence through our interviews with a range of USMC personnel and civilians and how we prioritized those issues based on the seven objectives articulated in Chapter Five.

    As discussed in Chapter Two, our qualitative data analysis of the interview transcripts using ATLAS.ti led us to identify and categorize 48 unresolved issues related to USMC intelligence. Each issue was raised by multiple respondents; details and examples, as well as specific comments from the interviews, are presented later in this chapter.

    To provide some structure to our analysis, we began by...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Alternative Structures and Their Assessment
    (pp. 81-98)

    This chapter describes current aspects and structures for the four levels of USMC intelligence that we discuss in this monograph and then suggests alternative structures that address many of the issues identified in Chapter Six. These structures aim to provide better fit among USMC intelligence goals, strategy, resources and authorities, and environment. Improved fit should increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of USMC intelligence organizations. This discussion relies on terminology that was introduced in Chapter Four.

    Currently, USMC intelligence organizations are not dysfunctional, but they are not without flaws and they can be improved. The current structure does serve USMC...

  16. CHAPTER EIGHT Addressing Remaining Marine Corps Intelligence Issues
    (pp. 99-110)

    The organizational changes proposed in Chapter Seven sought to improve the fit of various elements of USMC intelligence. This chapter aims to connect the analyses in the previous two chapters and offer resolution or prospects for solutions to as many of the issues identified in Chapter Six as possible. We begin by considering which of the issues identified in Chapter Six would be resolved by the changes proposed in Chapter Seven. We then turn to solutions and suggestions for improvement offered by interview respondents and discuss their relevance to the other issues.

    Nineteen issues would be resolved, or at least...

  17. CHAPTER NINE Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 111-116)

    USMC intelligence has come a long way since the 1994 Intelligence Plan, effecting many important changes and improvements suggested in that reform effort and making further adjustments in response to the operational context encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan. The USMC intelligence enterprise is highly effective and has realized many significant successes. However, issues, challenges, and room for improvement remain.

    There has been an inconsistent long-term strategic focus on overall intelligence goals; the various I-Dept offices are more consumed with day-to-day activities. The I-Dept, by virtue of its headquarters placement, focuses more on inputs (e.g., money, manpower) than on customers (e.g.,...

  18. APPENDIX A Organizational Design Literature Considered
    (pp. 117-120)
  19. APPENDIX B Army Intelligence Organization
    (pp. 121-138)
  20. APPENDIX C Complete Interview Topics and Questions
    (pp. 139-148)
  21. APPENDIX D Recent History of Marine Corps Intelligence
    (pp. 149-172)
  22. APPENDIX E Current Guidance Regarding the Strategic Environment
    (pp. 173-182)
  23. APPENDIX F Details of Alternative Structure Assessments
    (pp. 183-194)
  24. Bibliography
    (pp. 195-202)